Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes out this week – Quentin Tarantino‘s highly-anticipated, highly-talked-about ninth feature film, surrounding a fictional actor, his fictional stunt double, and the real-life Manson Family murders of the 1960s, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Premiering at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival back in May to mostly positive-to-lukewarm reviews (many calling the film something along the lines of Tarantino’s “love letter to the ’60s”), a cavalcade of conflicting, divisive arguments followed suit. Since then, the film has been stewing quietly in the conversations that erupted from it at the festival, and the potential conversations to be reignited once its premiere began to loom ever nearer for general audiences out in the distance.
Thus, in the midst of insightful discourse, retrospectives, think pieces and essays examining the long-standing and controversial director, his filmography, and the implications of his latest film, I am here to offer you up on a silver platter something much more intelligent and nuanced than any of that. As once, quite possibly, the most annoying teenage Tarantino fan on the planet (I’ve still got obnoxious posters and t-shirts stashed away in my parents’ attic somewhere) and a present-day connoisseur of bad taste, I’ve gone ahead and done the lord’s work and ranked a handful of the filmmaker’s characters based on how likely I would be to date them. Why? Because why the fuck wouldn’t I take any excuse I can get to write a thirsty list full of fictional criminals? So, come my children, take a much-needed respite from all the yelling and screaming on Film Twitter dot com and join me around the fire, as I decide whether John “The Hangman” Ruth or Mr. Orange would make a better boyfriend.
10. Bill (Kill Bill)
I hate to put the titular Bill at the bottom of this list, but he doesn’t exactly do it for me. For one, I can’t say I’m all that attracted to David Carradine physically. He’s old, sure, but he’s just not my type, and I’m not too hot on the idea of being with a guy who’s a member of an assassination squad. That’s not too nitpicky of a gripe, is it? I just don’t think I have it in me to become an assassin, a bit of a strenuous profession, lots of leg work I bet. It also seems like Bill falls for people pretty hard, to the point that he’d order his fellow assassins to kill you if you disappeared from his life for a little while and resurfaced engaged to someone else. Obviously, that’s gotta hurt for him, and I’m not saying I’m necessarily the type of gal to do that to someone, but I don’t think it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Seems a bit of a liability, yes? I’m in love with my fair share of murderers and slimeballs, but Killiam William is too short a fuse for me. You can all rest assured that of all the morally questionable men I lay my thirsts on, Bill is not one of them (no offense, Beatrix).
9. Lt. Aldo Raine (Inglourious Basterds)
I’m sorry… but the only version of Brad Pitt I would ever want to date is Tyler Durden. Don’t get me wrong; Lieutenant Aldo Raine is certainly a stand-up guy. What better line of work for your man to be in than in the business of killin’ Nazis? Who even knows if he gets financial compensation or not, there’s gotta be nothing more personally and professionally fulfilling than constantly mowing down Nazi scum from nine to five, Monday through Friday. And of all the Brad Pitt characters that aren’t Tyler Durden that I’ve been sexually disinterested in over the years, I wouldn’t say Aldo Raine is at the very bottom of that list. Sure, he’s got that grisled appeal, that gnarly scar around his neck, and who wouldn’t get a little hot and bothered hearing him whisper “bonjourno” in their ear during sex? But, at the end of the day, there’s a man who’s much too devoted to his work. It’s just not practical to fall in love with Lieutenant Aldo Raine, because he’ll always be far more in love with murdering Nazis than he could ever be in love with me. And could I really blame him?
8. Mr. Blonde a.k.a. Vic Vega (Reservoir Dogs)
Mr. Blonde is a pretty horrifying guy – perhaps the most horrifying guy on this list. So horrifying, in fact, that he had to be on a list written by me about terrible fictional characters that I might date! Although, if we’re being realistic, I can’t imagine he’d be very good boyfriend material. Like, just because he knows how to pick the right song to cut a cop’s ear off to doesn’t mean he’d know how to treat me well. Still, you can’t deny how hot Mr. Blonde is, even if he is the personification of a gaping, black hole of a human being. He slaughters innocent civilians, gleefully tortures a man while dancing along to Stealers Wheel and even attempts to set him on fire. Perhaps, if he hadn’t been shot dead in that very act by Mr. Orange, we could’ve run off and built a life together, reveling in pop songs from the 1970s while we engage in an unimaginable scale of murder and destruction. But I know in my heart I don’t have the guts to take lives, or ears, for that matter, even if wooed by a man who slurps a milkshake as seductively as Mr. Blonde.
7. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)
We stan the versatility of a man who can look good in a suit and tie as well as in a t-shirt and board shorts after getting the blood of his partner’s murder victim all over him. Jules “Do I Look Like a Bitch?” Winnfield might seem like a bit of a loose cannon, but I think he’s a guy who knows exactly when to keep his head cool and when he needs to let shit hit the fan. Jules is calculated, a real master at what he does, which is being a…uh…..crime man for Marsellus Wallace? Whatever the case may be, Jules clearly knows how to get shit done even when tensions are high and lives are at stake. And I can’t imagine he didn’t get a healthy bit of compensation for safely retrieving the mysterious briefcase for Marsellus Wallace. However, I’m currently trying to cut red meat out of my diet and as we all know, Jules has kind of a thing for hamburgers. Plus, his renewed life of religious observance due to that near-death experience shared between him and Vincent Vega doesn’t exactly vibe with my lifelong agnosticism. In the end, even if Jules might be a good man at heart, there are too many things conflicting in the cards for us to be together.
6. Louis Gara (Jackie Brown)
Robert De Niro hasn’t really been that hot to me since I saw Taxi Driver for the first time, but he comes pretty close in Jackie Brown. He’s a big asshole, sure, and he shoots a woman in a shopping mall parking lot just for being, uh… annoying? But there’s something about seeing him loaf around in bowling shirts and ripping a bong that kinda gets me going. Jackie Brown feels like this nice halfway point between De Niro being #1 babe alert in Taxi Driver to being America’s Favorite Movie Grandpa. He’s reached middle-age, he’s a bit out of shape, and he’s up to no good in the latest crime thriller from the acclaimed director of Pulp Fiction. Anyway, I think if Louis didn’t shoot me point-blank in the middle of a day with a fucking handgun, we might have an okay time together. Just enjoying our respective hot girl summers in our colorful, baggy shirts while getting blazed on a couch. There’s a slippery slope similar to Bill here in regards to Louis’s short fuse. But I’d hope if I kept him stoned all the time, my own potential murder shouldn’t be anything to fuss about. Right?